Amazing Time-Lapse Views of the Houston Area Over the Past 70 Years

Categories: Spaced City

Satellite view of what would become JamaicaPirates Beach thanks to Google Earth.
Anyone who has lived here for even 10 years would not argue that the city of Houston has changed a lot. Go back two decades and it is even a more marked difference. But what about 40, 50, even 70 years ago? How far has our city really come? Thanks to the Google Earth history function and a major assist from Houston Press art director Monica Fuentes (who lives for this kind of thing), we get to find out.

We took snapshots of various parts of the city dating back to the 1940s and pieced them together into animations that demonstrate the radical growth of the Houston/Galveston region and the massive changes that have taken place.

Click any of the animations to see a larger view.


While there were no decent images of NASA under construction to add to the animation, it is easy to see the spread of homes around Clear Lake turning a fairly quiet waterfront area into one of the most densely packed residential neighborhoods in Houston.

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Jim Rassinier
Jim Rassinier

I have to say this is extremely boring, and I love watching the old school maps. Something gets lost in translation with how quickly they are moving. I'd slow them down at least 5 times slower.


That first photo is not Jamaica beach, it is Pirates Beach.  Jamaica was already developed then. 

jeffbalke topcommenter

@CR250 You are correct. Got my images mixed up. Thanks.

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